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Porsche 911, Banksy Taken From London Wall Lead Sales

Porsche 2.7-liter Carrera RS Coupe
A 1974 Porsche 2.7-liter Carrera RS Coupe. The last of just 109 built by the German carmaker, it was sold by the London-based auction house Bonhams in its inaugural sale at the Spa Motor Circuit in Belgium on May 25. It sold to telephone bidder for 437,000 euros ($565,000). Source: Bonhams via Bloomberg

Sports cars that the “baby boomer” generation grew up with -- including six Porsche 911s priced at as much as $644,000 -- will star in a Bonhams auction.

The May 25 sale at Spa in Belgium comes in the 50th anniversary of Porsche’s design which included the powerful RS (Rennsport - “race sport”) variant in 1973 and 1974, spurred by competition with Ferrari.

“These were years when Porsche produced their most significant 911 designs,” said Kenny Schachter, a London-based art and classic car dealer. “The juxtaposition of race and road makes these cars desirable.”

Bonhams’s sale includes a 3-liter 1974 Carrera RS Coupe estimated at 400,000 euros ($515,000) to 500,000 euros, the last of 109 examples to be built. A 1973 2.7-liter Carrera RS with an extensive racing history may fetch as much as 200,000 euros. Both feature the model’s distinctive “duck-tail” rear spoiler.

The auction record for a Porsche 911 is the $1.4 million paid at RM Auctions in Monterey, California, in 2011 for the 1970 911S that Steve McQueen drove in the movie “Le Mans.”

Bonhams’s auction, timed to coincide with the Spa-Classic race meeting, includes 56 cars valued at about 5 million euros.

Banksy Mural

A Banksy mural removed from a London street and entered into a Florida auction will be reoffered at a private event in London, where it may fetch $1 million.

The 2012 spray painting “Slave Labour” will be shown by the Sincura Group at a members-only event in the Covent Garden area on June 2.

The work, showing a young boy making Union Jack bunting with a sewing machine, had been stenciled on the wall of a Poundland store.

It was removed in February and reappeared in the Feb. 23 sale by Fine Art Auctions in Miami, estimated at $500,000 to $700,000. The lot was withdrawn at the last moment, following objections from Haringey Council and street-art fans.

“Our goal is to find a buyer who will keep it in the U.K.,” said Tony Baxter, director of the Sincura Group. “We know the sale of this Banksy has caused great controversy. We’ve done our due diligence and there is no legal issue.”

A U.S. collector has agreed to buy the painting and the sale will be completed if no buyer can be found at a higher price in London, Baxter said. He would not disclose values, though he said in an e-mail that “I wouldn’t be surprised if it reached $1 million” at the Sincura event.

“Slave Labour,” satirizing Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, will be shown in a group of about 40 works by Banksy, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Mario Testino.

China Sales

London’s latest round of Chinese works of art sales at the three biggest auction houses raised 36.6 million pounds ($55.2 million) with fees -- exactly the same as they did last year.

Though selling rates were up at Sotheby’s, Christie’s International and Bonhams, the average price per successful lot declined 11.9 percent from 55,031 pounds to 48,471 pounds.

“The market has become more discerning,” said London-based dealer John Berwald, among a crowd of more than 100 Chinese bidders who flew into the U.K. capital for the auctions. “If you’ve got a good Imperial or Song piece, it will be fought over.”

Asian bidders bought two matching 18th-century porcelain pagodas for 1.2 million pounds at Christie’s, and a pair of Qianlong blue-and-white “moonflask” vases for 2.4 million pounds at Sotheby’s.

Muse highlights include Warwick Thompson on U.K. theater, Jason Harper on cars, Rich Jaroslovsky on tech, Lance Esplund on U.S. art and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.

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